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Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

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Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Mental health concerns grow over social media impact on youth

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Tuesday, December 26, 2023   

Health professionals have raised alarms about social media and its impact on young people's mental health.

Concern has grown so great that earlier this year Seattle Public Schools filed a lawsuit against social media giants like Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube - alleging the companies were creating a "youth mental health crisis."

Dr. Yolanda Evans is an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She said social media has positives, like connecting young people with their friends.

However, Evans also noted that the algorithms these platforms use can exacerbate mental health issues for kids.

"My patients have been exposed to things on social media like self harm or imagery that really was disturbing," said Evans, "and it's hard to stop it or block it."

School districts around the country have joined the lawsuit against social media companies.

In May, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued an advisory saying social media poses "a risk of harm to the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents."

Evans said parents can play a role in reducing the harms of social media.

"We as adults can also help our kids learn how to be more savvy consumers of things," said Evans, "and teach them what's a reputable source? Why would you trust that content versus other content? What is it that the person's saying or doing that might be false?"

Evans added that the effort to rein in social media's impacts must extend beyond parents.

"All of us need to be involved," said Evans. "The companies for sure need more in terms of regulation and changes with the algorithms and, as adults, also helping kids learn how do we use this for something that can be helpful?"




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